overwhelmed? underwhelmed? maybe just whelmed…

Processing through what this past season has been for me has been a little harder for me than usual. I can’t fully explain all the highs and lows I’ve felt the past few months, but knowing things are about to change is slightly scary, yet I’ve got a total peace about it. Three weeks ago I made some more phone calls, had a few “pounding the pavement days”, and started feeling a peace about what this next year was going to look like. All of a sudden, I had a job interview and then a job offer. I had to wait another week for Human Resources to officially offer me the job, and then it was done. Employment. What I’ve been waiting for FOR YEARS! I am now going to be a 4th ESL teacher with Memphis City Schools at Kate Bond Elementary. (and no, I don’t speak Spanish. I AM TEACHING ENGLISH).

The whole thing unfolded so fast yet so slow that I’m still trying to figure out how I’m feeling. It’s overwhelming knowing my life is about to change- no more grocery shopping at 10 am on a Tuesday, or watching endless TV every afternoon, or getting lunch with someone. I’m going to be lesson planning, filling out paperwork, going to teacher meetings, working car duty or bus duty or breakfast duty (the teacher I am replacing has the most before/after school duties!) and spending hours with 4th graders.

The underwhelming part is that my first thought wasn’t “oh yay God! God is so good! I am so blessed!” but more “really…? How did this happen…?!” This job, for me, seems ideal. I have a team teacher (who is an awesome Brazilian) who is incredibly encouraging and supportive, a large ESL team, and I now work around the corner from Bobby. While I do know God is good and I am blessed, it’s hard for me to say it when I know I was not always faithful or trusting. During one of my hardest times, my friend Cass encouraged me to have faith, and when I look back I’m going to want to know I trusted Him. Unfortunately, it was really easy for me to say I just didn’t have that kind of faith.

Slowly its become overwhelming. This week I babysit my sweet 2 year old for the last time, turned in my carseat, and began a 2 day new employee orientation with Memphis City Schools. I have moments when I am struck with the realization that I just don’t deserve this. Some of my parents’ friends were asking me about the job, and I kept saying “it’s just so crazy how it worked out- It seems too good to be true,” and thankfully, they said “no, it’s a blessing…you need to think of it that way.” I think there’s something so deep inside me that doesn’t believe and where I think I have to do everything right to deserve anything good. I’m not being self-deprecating or insecure when I say this, but I do feel like I can be the worst sinner ever sometimes. I hate it. Sin sucks. Sinning is hard for me because I worry I disappoint God or my family or my friends. Clearly, there’s just something missing in the gospel I’m living by. I don’t want to live by that gospel anymore. I’m having moments the past few days when I am struck with the intensity of grace and God’s true character. Even though I told Him “I don’t believe you. I don’t know what you’re doing, and so I’m going to be angry and frustrated with you” I am seeing that God isn’t swayed or surprised by that. My own sinful nature can’t grasp it at times, and He so desperately wants me to.

It’s been a unique past three weeks for me. I find such a tremendous value in processing and remembering, because this isn’t the hardest thing I will ever go through. I don’t want to come across the next hardship and go back to doubt and disbelief. Somewhere along the way of the past few months, I was reminded of thankfulness. While I may be a little behind in reading it, Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts is gently reminding me of the beauty in thankfulness in good and bad. I don’t like to throw around that word, because I really want to mean it when I say it. Call me pessimistic, which I am, but my nature of instant gratification robs me of joy time after time.

However. Now…I can say it. I am truly, deep down, honestly, beyond words and understanding, thankful. For a husband who never questioned me or God, who encouraged me, prayed with me night after night, let me cry, work it out, and believed in me. For friends who listened, pointed out truth when I didn’t want to believe. For families who have always, and will always, pray and love me despite my mess. I am grateful for Jesus. You gave me grace when I deserved it the least. Thank you.